After a 1,431% increase in dengue cases, the RN will declare an epidemic – 17/05/2022 – News

With the explosion of dengue fever cases, Rio Grande do Norte is expected to declare this Wednesday (18) an arbovirus epidemic, which also includes chikungunya and zika. The information was confirmed by Kelly Lima, health surveillance coordinator at the State Department of Public Health (Sesap).

Alex Regis

Data from the Epidemiological Bulletin refer to the period from January to May 7. The number of probable cases increased by 1,431%

The RN recorded, until May 7, 11,535 probable cases of dengue fever. During the same period last year, 806 probable cases were recorded, representing an increase of 1,431%. “From the study that we have conducted over the past few years, we can already classify – based on epidemiological data – that the state is experiencing an epidemic of not only dengue, but also arboviruses,” the coordinator said. . The state also has 3,397 cases of chikungunya and 708 of Zika in 2022.

Thus, the appearance of the disease triggers an alert to the authorities. “We already have the letter ready to request this request from the technical area, so that we can work on more effective actions, since unfortunately we could not go ahead with the preventive actions that should have been triggered by the municipalities,” says Lima.

The difficulties, according to the coordinator, had already been reported by Sesap since 2021, “due to all the study that was carried out and to understand that people were resuming their departures from their homes, and with these departures, the care ended up take a bit of the most neglected,” he says. “Unfortunately, the reduced teams of the municipalities made them turn to the problems of Covid-19, and it turned out that today we have this outbreak in the number of arboviruses”.

Among the actions the dossier has not advanced as it would like are cleanup efforts and home visits. One of the reasons, Lima explains, is a technical note from the Ministry of Health, published at the start of the pandemic and still in force, which restricts the visit of endemic agents to homes. “He only speaks of peridomicile: only visiting the garden, not entering houses because of the possibility of Covid contagion. The intention of the Health Watch Department of Sesap was to resume internal visits to the municipalities, “since we observe many outbreaks in the factories which are inside or even in the toilets”, explains Kelly.

“So it’s a whole inspection that must take place in the houses by the agents, so that we can control and investigate the cases”. Without being able to guarantee the expected preventive measures, “a large part” of the cities of Rio Grande do Norte have requested the smoke car. “It is the last measure that should be used because there is a risk of spraying the insecticidal venom in all homes, on the streets.”

With the decree published, decision-making on the epidemic is no longer exclusive to Health and is taken over by the state government. “This discussion goes beyond health, it has a broader discussion with the whole of government or at least with certain key secretariats, such as the secretary for education, infrastructure, public safety, civil defense and others who can add to the actions against the mosquito in the territories”, specifies Kelly Lima.

Another reason is the facilitation of supplies from the Ministry of Health, since Rio Grande do Norte has a shortage in the number of kits to carry out tests for the detection of arboviruses. “Unfortunately, the shipment of kits for the diagnosis of arboviruses has been nascent so that we can respond to the great demand for examinations that arrive at LACEN (Central Public Health Laboratory), since the municipalities collect these examinations and the samples arrive all to the central lab,” Kelly worries.

“So, because of this start of an epidemic, when an epidemic is declared, priority is given to receiving these examinations to the detriment of the other States which are not in epidemic”, he specifies. According to the coordinator, the Ministry of Health should send the supplies in June. “But we are about to enter the month of June and we still do not have a date for the arrival of this support in the United States,” he comments.

Sesap said the RT-PCR test “could arrive next week”. The file specifies that he has two kits, “but they are insufficient for the samples we have at the Unit. The most critical is the serology of Dengue, due to a problem of imports from suppliers,” he informed.

Asked, the Ministry of Health indicated that it “is working without measuring efforts to keep the health network supplied with diagnostic tests for dengue, zika and chikungunya” and that a new shipment of supplies should be delivered by June. “Fiocruz’s molecular tests are delivered directly to Lacens to strengthen the monitoring of the disease throughout the territory”, informs the file. The Ministry of Health has also warned of the need to detect diseases. “Laboratory diagnosis is important for places without transmission and to identify viral circulation. From this initial diagnosis, the other cases can be closed by clinical epidemiological criteria”.


In addition to the state, the Municipal Health Service (SMS) had already acknowledged on Thursday (12) that Natal is experiencing a dengue epidemic. Between January and April this year, the capital city of Potiguar saw a 1,566% increase in dengue fever cases. According to the Epidemiological Bulletin of Arboviruses published on May 10 by the Municipal Health Department, 2,966 cases have been recorded up to the period, compared to 192 in 2021. The epidemiological decree has not, however, been published to date. According to the director of the Department of Health Surveillance (DVS) of Natal, Vaneska Gadelha, the publication in the Official Gazette of the Commune should be released today or tomorrow in retroactive format. She claimed that the delay in the executive order was for portfolio bureaucratic reasons, but that have already been resolved. On the actions of the SMS, Gadelha says that the health facilities are already ready to serve the population. “The entire network is already focused on this service, with extended hours”, specifies the director.

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